October 26, 2016 How To Get Your Brand Discovered: The Secret Success Of ‘Product Scanner Apps’
Image Recognition technologies are transforming the retail sector and the way we find and purchase products. It has provided us with a more interactive view of the world, creating a “virtual showroom” around us, where everything in our sight becomes searchable and buyable. M-commerce has taken a big leap, thanks to apps that allow users to ‘Scan-to-Buy’. This is becoming a standard offering — let’s focus on how consumers can search for products in new ways with this technology.
How searching products through images is transforming shopping
The goal of Image Recognition is to extract valuable information from images. It can help you find information about something you see around you by just scanning it.
It allows you to identify an item you were not familiar with and, therefore, discover new products and brands.
Discovering niche product categories
Going beyond shopping experience, there are apps that can help you learn a lot about specific categories of products. Mawson Management, for instance, developed an app exclusively for Sake lovers. They realized how difficult it was for English-speaking sake fans to understand the difference between the different brands, due to the language barrier. Therefore, they decided to remove that barrier by teaming up with Catchoom’s technologies.
With a database of over 1800 brands and varieties, Sake! app users can scan a bottle and get all the information they want to know: type, alcohol content, brewer, taste notes and food pairings. Plus, it allows them to read reviews and share their experience with others. It is carefully tailored towards sake drinkers, enabling them to learn and discover new sake brands whether they are in a bar, a store, or anywhere else, with just a scan. (Read the case study.)
The dawn of ‘wine scanner’ apps
A similar concept has been successfully integrated into the wine and alcoholic beverage sector. With extensive catalogs for wine, beer, spirits and gourmet products, apps like Uvinum, or Palate Wizards have been developed to allow users to scan a bottle of wine and receive information about it, compare prices, redeem discounts, read and write reviews, and purchase the product right away.
Antonio Galloni, world-renowned wine critic manifests the need of having the entire wine industry encapsulated on your smartphone: “I don’t want to go to a restaurant and have somebody talking about tannins and not know what the hell that means”. Focussing on the value of information, Galloni has also crafted his own wine-scanner app with the premium version that includes his professional reviews.
Getting information about food and groceries via mobile apps
In the food sector, information and knowledge about ingredients, processes and place of origin is rapidly gaining importance. Surveys reveal that consumers want more information about the food they buy.
The chief executive officer of The Center for Food Integrity (CFI) found that, “if consumers cannot easily access the information they’re looking for in language they understand, it may appear that either you don’t have a positive story to tell or you have something to hide.”
This is a big call for food retailers to integrate informative, user-friendly apps like PhooDi, a grocery scanner app that allows customers to scan food packages with their phone to retrieve nutritional information and instant discounts. Image Recognition apps can help consumers make educated purchases and have personalized, interactive shopping experiences without the need of QR codes or barcode scanners.
How to get your brand discovered with a clever app
In 2016 you can discover brands and become an expert in the field with just an app. As there are more apps developed for specific types of products, consumers are becoming savvier about their choices. Remember:
“It’s not about scanning to buy, it’s about scanning to find out what to buy.”
What kind of useful features can you include?
- Tips as to how to consume the product such as video tutorials or recipes for food.
- Personalised discounts to redeem in-store or online.
- Price comparisons between products and/or retailers.
- Ratings and reviews.
- Cross-selling through suggestions based on previous searches.
- Creating shopping lists and discount alarms.
- Automated records of purchases.
- Interactive gamified experiences with reward systems.
- Visualize product options (like colors or styles) by integrating Augmented Reality technology.
This is a great opportunity for brands to tell their story and create relationships with their customers through interactive and informative apps, that bridge the gap between offline (in-store) and online, mobile and desktop, browsing, and purchasing.